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Croatian coach Lino Cervar has gratefully accepted the first EHF Coaching Achievement Award for his outstanding four-decade career

EHF lauds Croatian coaching great Lino Cervar

Lino Cervar has received the EHF Coaching Achievement Award, a fitting recognition of his long-term role as an acclaimed ambassador for the sport of handball.

As the first coach to receive the award, the Croat was lauded by EHF President Jean Brihault on Sunday, the closing day of the EHF Top Coaches’ Seminar in Krakow.

“I am not a handball professor, I am a handball coach with visions and ideas,” said Cervar, adding his exceptional track record was “a result of constant improvement in myself and also learning from top experts from all fields of sports.”

The 65-year-old Croat is one of the most successful coaches the game of handball has ever seen.

Currently at the helm of HC Metalurg, Cervar celebrated his biggest triumphs in his eight-year stint as head coach of Croatia.

He led the national men’s team to the world title in 2003 in Portugal and to Olympic gold in Athens the following year.

Under Cervar’s guidance, Croatia also won silver at the World Championship in 2005 and 2009 as well as at the EHF EURO in 2008 and 2010.

As a club coach, he led RK Zagreb in Croatia, AS Papillon Conversano in Italy, and HC Metalurg in FYR Macedonia to numerous national championships and cup victories.

“For the receipt of this prestigious recognition of my 40-year-long work as a coach, I want to thank the European Handball Federation,” Cervar said.

Brihault praised Cervar for his “preoccupation with the integration of research, teaching, and learning,” and said that by honouring the Croat, “we want to indicate that for us education is fundamental.”

In his animated speech in front of the coaches who took part in the four-day seminar on the fringes of the Men’s EHF EURO 2016, Cervar addressed several issues in modern handball coaching.

Cervar spoke about the importance of the integration of scientific knowledge, the further development of the playing rules of handball, the mental aspects of the sport, and the essentials of youth coaching.

“Of course, the technique is always in the spotlight,” he said. “Without technique there can be no enjoyment in the game.”

Cervar predicted a further growth for handball in upcoming years and ongoing expansion in new territories.

“I am convinced there is a bright future ahead for the game of handball. It will be handball as a global European sports event.”


TEXT: Eric Willemsen / cg